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More than 30% of workers compensation claims costs stemming from construction sites and processed by Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. are the result of falls from elevated surfaces, according to data released Tuesday by the insurer.
Over the past five years, Nationwide processed more than 10,000 workers compensation claims due to accidents from construction-related businesses, with falls being among the costliest, the Columbus, Ohio-based insurer stated in its report.
Its data indicates that injuries related to falls from elevated surfaces are more severe than other injury claims because these accidents result in more time away from work, damage to multiple body parts, and more short- and long-term disability leave.
To help draw attention to the problem, Nationwide is promoting a national safety education program “Stand-Down To Prevent Falls in Construction,” which runs from May 7-11 and is sponsored by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
“Construction employees work hard every day in environments that are often dangerous,” said Linda Stueber, Nationwide’s vice president of construction, in a statement. “Our data shows that falls from elevated surfaces can often lead to serious and costly worker injuries, so it’s crucial for construction companies and their workers to implement regular safety training — and put that training to practice.”
An administrative law judge of the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission affirmed citations issued against a construction employer whose employees were photographed working on a site without fall protection and assessed total penalties of $5,600.